Human Rights Watch made the accusation in a report last week.
White phosphorus burns on contact with oxygen. It is legal to use as an illuminant, but the human rights organization alleges that Israel used it as a weapon.
Israel has rejected those claims as well.
Other Israeli investigations into the conduct of its troops in Gaza continue."
Of course they will, of course. This reminds me of the time an Arab dictator of my acquaintance displayed on his local television two scoundrels whom he accused of murdering a cabinet minister who had known too much. The dictator (later a pal of President GW Bush) had ordered the killing, but there, on television, the two miscreants cowered in a corner while their guilt was proclaimed and el Jefe swore by the Qur'an that investigations would continue until all the evil doers would be punished, were punished as these two evil doers would be punished.
Nothing further was ever said or printed of the two miscreants, further investigations or the death of the inconvenient minister.
Well, the photograph above is of white phosphorus shell fired from either artillery or mortars. It is bursting over an upscale civilian apartment development. There are a lot of pictures like this. Any old soldier, including ones from the IDF, knows that this is white phosphorus shell.
White phosphorus (a metal) burns on contact with air. If you get it on you, it will burn through your arm, leg, etc., until the burning phosporus comes out the other side. Your only real recourse is to cut it out of you with a knofe before it does so. White phosphorus shell is legally used for generating smoke on the battlefield. It used to be common in aerial bombs. Germany and Japan were heavily bombed with this among many other things for the specific purpose of burning down their towns.
So. The IDF spokeman is a liar. The question of whther and to what extent the IDF also shot civilians deliberately I leave to the conscience of IDF soldiers who seem unwilling to shut up about it. God bless them.
On a grander scale, Israeli complaints of continued Palestinian (Hamas) smuggling of supplies and munitions are a validation of the analytic comments I made here and on television to the effect that the Israeli effort at Gaza (Cast Lead) would be a total strategic failure if the Palestinians did not submit to the Israeli collective will as a result of that punitive campaign.
They have not submited and so it is fair to say that "Cast Lead" was strategically a total failure that served once again to demonstrate the impotence of Israeli arms in dealing with the essence of their "problem" with the Palestinians. What is next, forced "re-locations," a first strike against Iran as a relief from having to deal with the truly existential issue of Palestine? How about face to face negotiations with the Palestinians as equal human beings? How about that? pl